12-Year-Old Girl Schools Dick's Sporting Goods Store on Equality
By John Boone
Remember when we had to suffer through those ridiculous, “Are women funny?” debates, even as we spent our weekends watching movies with Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig and Sandra Bullock? And the answer was obviously, “Yes, they are, why would you even ask that?” It seems like we’re entering into an equally ridiculous version of the debate for sports. To cut out a lot of back and forth: Yes, women like sports. Last week, Men’s Health magazine was taken to task for a story titled “How to Talk to Women About Sports.” (They later apologized.)
Now, the story of a 12-year-old basketball fan who just wants to treated fairly:
Chris Peterson, a sportscaster for Arizona Central Sports, tweeted a letter his daughter, McKenna, wrote to Dick’s Sporting Goods about their sexist approach to selling sports equipment.
“I have received your Basketball 2014 catalog...I am writing about the matter that there are no girls in the catalog,” McKenna writes in her letter. “I think that girls should be treated as equally as boys are treated. I, myself, enjoy playing and also watching basketball, WOMENS basketball.”
McKenna isn’t afraid to say what’s what: “There are NO girls in the catalog. On, wait, sorry. There IS a girl in the catalog on page 6. SITTING in the STANDS. Women are only mentioned once in the catalog on page 5 for some shoes. And there are cheerleaders on some coupons. It’s excluding us from your catalog. Girls buy stuff from your store.”
And she’s willing to take her business elsewhere if necessary: “Maybe my dad will take me to some other store that support girls to actually PLAY basketball and follow their dreams and not sit on the sidelines and watch the game.”
But as tough as she gets, she makes sure to end on a positive note: “I really DO enjoy going to your store and getting new shoes. The staff are very friendly and kind.”
Quite the savvy businessperson.
Chris posted a follow-up tweet thanking his followers for their support:
But said they still hadn’t heard anything substantial from Dick’s. Eventually Chris got what he called a “#FormLetter #BrushOff” email response, which thanked McKenna for “taking the time to express your concerns” and said they'd "take your comments to heart.”
But as Chris hashtagged, “#McKennasNotSatisfied.”
Today, they finally got the chance to talk to Dick’s and it seems like McKenna’s letter will truly make a difference in who the company puts in their catalogue. You go, girl.
Now, can we suggest McKenna for the next Dick’s catalog cover?